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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mommy Cross-Contamination Threatens Babies, Commuters

[Note to readers:  Despite the title, this article has serious policy implications.]

A growing body of evidence suggests that self-indulgent harried, overworked and underpaid caregivers (not just the mommies out there) are the biggest cause of cross-contamination in our technology-obsessed, antisocial urban, post-industrial society.

Many mothers will whine  object that this characterization is too accurate unfairly punishes them for avoiding their maternal responsibilities trying to function without their first glass of Cabernet cup of coffee.

However, many warehouse managers "caregivers" too often wait for a stifling, paint-peeling stench (in which the neglected child ferments) to change the child's diaper.  The results are disastrous; the child suffers skin rash, the indignity of sitting in his own filth and the frustration of being incapable of expressing his disgust while being ignored and watching his purported caregiver gossip with her friends or smiling while talking into or tapping some small flat object with a flashing red light.  

Seepage is also a major problem.  Leakage is a major source of cross-contamination.  Handling soiled objects without properly decontaminating after each exposure can lead to multiple acts of cross-contamination during which repeated exposure to pathogens can occur and result in transmission of numerous, nasty disease-causing microorganisms.  The same goes for any contact with a soiled surface.  Soiling (and cross-contamination danger) can be present even if contamination is not visually apparent.  Hence, seats on buses, trains, airplanes and grocery carts can be efficient storage and transfer points for these pathogens.

Here's to hoping that the public health authorities take note of this very real public health hazard.  Caregivers need to be forced, under penalty of criminal prosecution taught to inspect their babies to see when they need attention before they become major biohazards start crying.  It beats the Bloomberg Administration's obsessions with sugared drinks, oversalted processed foods and cigarettes.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer, strategic analyst and political consultant.  Mr. Dixon has a manic obsession with cleanliness and aspires to become the first Commissioner of the yet-to-be-formed Department of Public Hygiene under future Mayor Stephanie Germanotta.   


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